Off-Campus Housing

Philadelphia, PA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Much cheaper than on campus housing usually, and usually homier and more comfortable, but it varies and it's still more expensive than what it would cost if it wasn't meant to be student housing, right up against the campus. Many buildings are not in very good shape, although they tend to be the beautiful old houses that have been converted into student housing which makes them better to live in, in my opinion, than some of the newer, monotonous and pristine student housing strips. There is definitely a variety of options from dirty cheap row houses and apartments to super expensive resort buildings.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Definitely an affordable city for off campus housing.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: I found my own housing.

4 College Student

Off-Campus Housing: Very good options all around campus.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: The school has a few places that are considered off-campus but owned by the school and most of them are fairly new/renovated.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 511st
    Best Off-Campus Housing Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Perry Petra-Wong
Pasadena, Calif.
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
View all previous student authors

Many students opt to live off campus as their years at Penn progress, although most don't go far, staying almost exclusively in the surrounding area that comprises University City. As a result, students in off-campus housing are not at all isolated from campus life. Many students take pleasure in the freedom of not being told when to move in and out and of not having RAs and GAs to monitor their activity. The Office of Off Campus Living can assist students with everything, from finding a place to live; to settling disputes with landlords. There are also local real estate companies that cater to members of the Penn community.

The school is, in one way, forced to make off-campus living a convenient option for students because Penn is only equipped to house about 70 percent of students. The school responds to this need by providing shuttles and other forms of transportation around campus and also by offering an internet connection to those students who decide not to live in dorms. There is an abundance of houses including spacious Victorian-style homes and apartment buildings in close proximity to Penn's official campus. So many inhabitants of these buildings are Penn students and faculty that the few streets west of campus are regarded as part of Penn by most who travel there for parties or dinner.

Facts & Statistics

Undergrads Living Off Campus
Popular Areas
University City (West Philly)
Average Rents
  • 1 BR: $924
  • 2 BR: $1,324
  • 3 BR: $733
  • Studio: $736

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus housing on the following topics    Based on 44 responses

Very poor
  • Availability
  • Cost
  • Ease of obtaining/process
  • Landlords
  • Parking
  • Proximity to campus
  • Proximity to public transportation
  • Proximity to shopping
  • Quality
  • Safety
  • Variety

What is the off-campus housing selection like near campus and is it worth it?    Based on 46 responses

  • 4% Not worth the hassle or expense. Everyone just lives on campus.
  • 11% High prices and/or limited choices keep most students on campus.
  • 61% Price and availability can vary, but the added freedom is still worth it.
  • 24% Totally worth it. It's easy to find a place, and prices are reasonable.

How helpful is the school in helping students find off-campus housing?    Based on 44 responses

  • 27% Not very helpful.
  • 2% The school does not allow students to live off campus.
  • 57% Somewhat helpful.
  • 14% Extremely helpful.
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